Thursday, August 1, 2013

The saddest thing about this whole gender thing with the Fed... that it's so unbelievably stupid at this point in history.

At one point in time, glass ceilings and career ladders to these sorts of jobs really did limit the supply of qualified female candidates. You could cite discrimination and other disparities as the fundamental cause, but there really was a lack of qualified female candidates, and given a lack of qualified female candidates one really could worry about "whether gender plays a role" in the decision.

But that's not the case today. There are at least two tremendous female candidates. Supply constraints on female central bankers are still a problem but we've passed that point where one has to even have a hint of a concern about whether "gender drives the appointment". It's stupid. It doesn't. There's no question at all that Yellen or Romer would be well qualified.

That's the saddest thing: not even the claim itself so much as the fact that it is invoked when these two are in the running. Massive fail.

Ditto the Supreme Court by the way. What the hell do you care if we have nine women on the court at this point? The candidates for the job are clearly equal to the task and that, I would have thought, closes the discussion. We are well past the time when the supply of qualified women might have been questionable enough to raise these concerns. The fact that these concerns persist, I think, is really starting to show peoples' true colors.


  1. Call me foolish and naive, but...

    I'm hoping that the information from the White House on it's final picks were deliberate half-truths. I hope that the reports of Larry Summers and Tim Geithner being among those considered were part of the Obama administration keeping it's cards close to it's vest for some uncertain long-term political and policy plus, and that eithe Janet Yellen or Christina Romer would be the final choice.

  2. Did you ever consider that the supply is a structural factor, and then consider what the structure is? There weren't too many african-american professors the day after slavery was abolished. (There still aren't, proportionally, today. We haven't washed that slate clean.) Get it?

    You're really missing the boat here. When you discuss a man, no one ever talks about whether sexism plays a roll in the pick, because it's ASSUMED that a man is qualified - or, at least, doesn't need to be carefully, individually qualified based on his gender. When you pick a woman or a minority, gender and race are ALWAYS mentioned - because you have to prove they're at least equal in qualifications to get over the "this is a race/gender pick" hurdle. It is not assumed. A white male is the status quo. A woman or minority isn't. This is how our country is structured.

    As others have pointed out, no one asked about Bernanke's "gravitas" when he was appointed. No one called it a "gender" pick. The problem isn't solved by having two women in the running. The problem is solved by not discussing at all, in any way, gender or race, whether openly or in code. If we're still talking about how candidates act in stereotypical terms, we've accomplished nothing.

  3. I don't doubt there are pressures from some for him to pick a woman. If Obama does pick a woman, I really doubt her gender will play a role in that decision.

  4. "What the hell do you care if we have nine women on the court at this point?"

    Well, so long as they've gone through their "change of life" I don't.

    1. Oh dude. Bad. BAD Joseph! :)

      If you were my cat I'd be getting my spray bottle out right now.


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